Modifications of Court Orders

Orders of the court are entered according to “the best interest of the child.” As children grow and situations change the court order will need modification to meet the changing needs of the child. It is not unusual for parents to modify provisions within a court order several times throughout the time they have a case with the Friend of the Court. A modification can be processed through the use of an attorney, in pro per (representing yourself) or through the Friend of the Court.

Child Support – Change of Circumstance Reviews

The FOC will initiate a child support review every three years by written request. Child support reviews will also be initiated if the child or the custodial parent begins receiving public assistance including placement on Medicaid, cash assistance and food assistance.

Either party may file a motion to change the support order without an attorney using the General Instructions to Modify a Child Support Order and Request Form. You may also hire an attorney of your choice to change your Order.

Custody and Parenting Time Modifications

Before a party can file a motion using the FOC process to change custody or parenting time, they must first attend the FOC Orientation. The filing party must attend orientation only once during the life of their case.

Whether the party chooses to file a custody or parenting time motion with the help of an attorney, in pro per or through the FOC, the party must show proper cause or change in circumstances.

If parties can reach an agreement they can prepare a written document signed by both parties that states the specific changes they want made. This document must be submitted to the FOC for review and a Consent Order may be prepared.

Even though the parties have agreed to a change, the current order remains in effect until the judge signs a new order and it is filed with the court clerk.

Domicile

If a parent wishes to relocate over 100 miles away or out of State, a motion will need to be filed. Please contact your FOC caseworker for information on filing a motion to proceed.

Child Support Charges During Incarceration

Upon notification of incarceration or release from incarceration after a criminal conviction and sentencing to a term of more than one year, the FOC shall initiate a review of the support order. (MCL552.517)

 

Child Support Charges During Incarceration

Upon notification of incarceration or release from incarceration after a criminal conviction and sentencing to a term of more than one year, the FOC shall initiate a review of the support order. (MCL552.517)

 

                                         

                                         

                                             

                                              

Alternative Dispute Resolution

An Alternative Dispute Resolution is a process to help parents be the decision makers for their children. It is believed that when parents make decisions concerning the best interests of their children, agreements are more likely to be followed, and parents are more likely to resolve future issues without court intervention. This process allows parents, not a third party or a Judge to make decisions that are personal and that directly affect the growth and development of their children.

By Michigan law the Friend of the Court is required to provide mediation services. If a dispute arises and the parties need assistance to resolve the issues, Formal Mediation can be requested. These services are voluntary; both parties must be willing to participate. If parties are able to reach an agreement, the mediator can prepare a consent order. The mediator is an employee of the Friend of the Court who has at least 5 years of experience as a caseworker and has participated in mediator training through the Michigan Judicial Institute. The Friend of the Court Mediator cannot have provided previous investigative or enforcement services on the case. All information provided to the mediator is confidential and not available to anyone or the court.

If parties choose to modify the court order and are in agreement they can schedule an appointment for informal mediation with the Enforcement Worker to prepare a consent order. The Enforcement Worker will discuss all aspects of the modification with the parties and prepare the court order. Once signed by the parties and the Judge, the order is filed with the County Clerk’s Office and is effective upon entry.

Parties can also send in written agreements to the Friend of the Court and request a court order to be drafted. The agreement should contain: both parties names, the case number, the agreement, the effective date, the children’s names, and both parties’ signatures. Upon completion the order is sent to both parties for review. If neither party objects, the order is entered after 7 days. Certain agreements can not be entered into through a consent order. It is important that you contact the Enforcement Caseworker to discuss your request prior to drafting the agreement. This is a service offered by the Barry County Friend of the Court and the Barry County Friend of the Court reserves the right not to process agreements.